As pretty as a bouquet of flowers, but with a sinister intent: a clump of Sun Pitchers (Heliamphora sarracenioides) advertises its lethal traps with bright colors and the offer of sweet nectar, amid the stunted vegetation of a tepui summit. Unwary insects that venture onto the inner surface of the pitcher easily lose their foothold and tumble into the water below where they are quickly drowned and digested by the plant. With annual rainfall sometimes exceeding four meters and virtually no mineral-rich soil available, nutrients are in scarce supply on Venezuela’s tepui mountains. This has fueled the diversification of many carnivorous plant species here, chief among them being the near-endemic genus Heliamphora with over 20 species. This species (H. sarracenioides) grows on the summit of only a single isolated tabletop mountain, accessible only by helicopter. Canaima National Park, Venezuela.
- © Chien C. Lee
- Image Size
- 3936x2624 / 8.3MB
- Contained in galleries
- Central & South America, Carnivorous Plants